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How do dictatorships justify their rule and with what effects? This and similar questions guide the contributions to this edited volume. Despite the recent resurgence of political science scholarship on autocratic resilience, many questions remain unanswered about the role of legitimation in contemporary non-democracies and its relationship with neighbouring concepts, like ideology, censorship, and consent. The overarching thesis of this book is that autocratic legitimation has causal influence on numerous outcomes of interest in authoritarian politics. These outcomes include regime resilience, challenger-state interactions, the procedures and operations of elections, social service provision, and the texture of everyday life in autocracies. Researchers of autocratic politics will benefit from the rich contributions of this volume.
The chapters in this book were originally published in a special issue of Contemporary Politics.